Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Cigarette Smoking in Iran

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Cigarette Smoking in Iran

Article excerpt


Background: Cigarette smoking is the largest preventable cause of death worldwide. No systematic review is available on the situation of the smoking in Iran, so we decided to provide an overview of the studies in the field of smoking in Iranian populations.

Methods: Published Persian-language papers of all types until 2009 indexed in the IranMedex ( and Magiran ( Reports of World Health Organization were also searched and optionally employed. The studies concerning passive smoking or presenting the statistically insignificant side effects were excluded. Databases were searched using various combinations of the following terms: cigarette, smoking, smoking cessation, prevalence, history, side effects, and lung cancer by independent reviewers. All the 83 articles concerning the prevalence or side effects of the smoking habit in any Iranian population were selected. The prevalence rate of daily cigarette smoking and the 95% confidence interval as well as smoking health risk associated odds ratio (OR) were retrieved from the articles or calculated.

Results: The reported prevalence rates of the included studies, the summary of smoking-related side effects and the ORs (95%CI) of smoking associated risks and the available data on smoking cessation in Iran have been shown in the article.

Conclusion: Because of lack of certain data, special studies on local pattern of tobacco use in different districts, about the relationship between tobacco use and other diseases, especially non communicable diseases, and besides extension of smoking cessation strategies, studies on efficacy of these methods seems to be essential in this field.

Keywords: Surveillance, Prevalence, Smoking Related Complications, Cessation, Iran


Cigarette smoking is the largest preventable cause of death worldwide. According to WHO, tobacco related death was five million people in the year 2008 and would reach 8 million a year by 2030. Currently, one person is killed every six seconds by tobacco (1).

The history of tobacco use is back to the time when Columbus's found some people in the New World using "strange leaves" of plant Nicotina tobacum (2). Current estimates suggest that almost one third of the world population smoke (3). Around 35% of men and 22% of women in developed countries smoke. These figures in developing countries are about 50% and 9%, respectively (2). About 84% of global smokers live in developing countries comprising about 1.3 billion people (4). In Iran, cigarette smoking was started in the Shah Abbas Safavi (1571 - 1629) kingship era. It rapidly spread throughout the country and in 1937 the first cigarette factory with the capacity of producing 600 million cigarettes per year started to work (5). Currently, Iranian Tobacco Company, a governmental organization, with more than 10 divisions/manufactories throughout Iran, produces about 12 billion cigarette sticks per year. In addition almost same amount is legally imported. We recently showed that the prevalence rate of current and daily cigarette smoking in Iran is correspondingly 12.5% (23.4% males and 1.4% females; burden: 6.1 million) and 11.3% (21.4 males and 1.4 females; burden: 5.6 million). We also reported that the average number of cigarettes smoked daily by an Iranian smoker was 13.7 sticks (6). Subsequently it is estimated that roughly 30 billion cigarette sticks is consumed a year in Iran. Recent data in Iran shows 62% increase in the manufactured cigarette from the period of 2000-2004 to 2005-2009 (7). Globally, more than five trillion cigarettes are manufactured yearly. Although there is no exact assessment of the world cigarette marketing expenditures/ incomes, it seems that the cigarette is the most marketed production. Considering that in the USA more than $10 billion is spent yearly on tobacco trade, the market is certainly more pronounced in developing countries (1). …

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